Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sometimes You Just Have To Laugh...

As predicted, as soon as the girls were tucked into bed last night, I curled up in my bed with needles, yarn and iPod to begin my beautiful new shawl. I was able to very quickly complete enough of it to move it from DPNs onto a 16 inch circular - a move that always brings a smile to my face. With great joy I knit everything up to the base of the first row of lace patterning, and then set it aside so that I could do a bit of reading before bed.

I woke this morning from dreams of handknit lace - I kid you not! - and as soon as I was able I picked up my needles to begin again. The Princess and the Pixie were good enough to first sleep late and then quickly find something fun to do together, and so I wound up with most of the morning to myself.

Under normal circumstances, I would easily have finished chart A in the time I had this morning.

Under normal circumstances, chart A is fairly simple and straightforward.

Under normal circumstances, I consider myself to be a highly proficient, talented lace knitter.

Apparently, today was not a day for normal circumstances.

The problem - as silly as it now seems - was just the first row. I managed to screw it up not once...not even twice...but THREE times. If you had the pattern in front of you now, you would probably be wondering how on earth anyone could muck up something so simple. The first time was a mistake of symmetry. I am a highly ordered person, and so when I looked at the pattern I saw an even number of plain knit stitches instead of an odd. The second time the whole thing came out wonky, and when I looked back I found that I had completely disregarded the pattern in two places starting very early in the row. The third time I managed to leave out three yarn overs...once again in pattern repeats back at the beginning of the row.

I was taught at a very early age that if something was worth doing, it was worth doing to the absolute best of one's abilities. I never fudge my knitting if it's in my power to fix it, and so I laughed at myself each time and then patiently tinked back to fix my mistakes.

I suppose I could be annoyed at having 'wasted' so much time. After all, such a solid block of time to myself during the week is rare indeed as the girls generally require more attention than they did today.

But...it was such a peaceful morning, and I did enjoy knitting to the sound of the storms outside.

Yep, it's better to just laugh.


Bonnie said...

Yes, just laugh! I have knit the shawl twice and both times there were places where I had to rip back. I got in the habit of putting in lifelines every so many rounds. It's a little bit aggravating to stop and thread a lifeline through a few hundred stitches, but much less aggravating than ripping back many rounds of hundreds of stitches.

I'm sorry you had to start over a few times. I don't know if it helps, but you are not alone. I had to restart the Muir I am currently making more than once. First, the cast on was too tight, then I knit a row wrong and didn't see until many rows later. My decreases were all leaning the wrong way. Then I discovered it was coming out about 6 inches wider than I wanted, so I had to start over again, cutting out a repeat.

Some days I wonder why I do this, but the truth is, despite the difficulties, lace is a wonderful thing.

Jenny J said...

Yup, just laugh ... and maybe have a nice malted beverage. I just spent some time unknitting a generous section of a baby surprise jacket because I'd gotten off track on where to increase. It's odd though... I have no problem unweaving at the loom, just do it and then move forward again. But having to unknit a large bit sends me into a dark night of the soul.

Hope today is better. And remember - you are not alone!

Paula said...

It does sound as if you had a lovely morning despite the small set back with your shawl. Oh my goodness...It is going to be stunning!

How nice that the girls play well together. Our boys were like that too and they are still the best of friends with one another. It sure makes life a lot easier for the whole family.